Spiritual Meaning of GENESIS 23:10
AC 2939. Verse 10. And Ephron was sitting in the midst of the sons of Heth; and Ephron the Hittite answered Abraham in the ears of the sons of Heth, of all that went in at the gate of his city, saying. "Ephron was sitting in the midst of the sons of Heth," signifies those by whom the good and truth of faith could primarily be received; "and Ephron the Hittite answered Abraham," signifies their state of reception; "in the ears‘ of the sons of Heth," signifies obedience; "of all that went in at the gate of his city, saying," signifies as to the doctrinal things through which there is faith.
AC 2940. Ephron was sitting in the midst of the sons of Heth. That this signifies those by whom the good and truth of faith could primarily be received, is evident from the representation of "Ephron," and also from the signification of the "sons of Heth," as being those with whom the truth and good of faith could be received, and with whom there could be a new church (n. 2913, 2933); and from the signification of "the midst"’ or "in the midst," as being what is primary, or principal, and also inmost (n. 1074). That "the midst" in the internal sense signifies what is primary or principal, and also inmost, is from representatives in the other life; for when any good is represented by spiritual ideas, then what is best is presented in the midst, and what is less and less good is presented successively from the middle outward; and lastly at the circumference are those things which are not good; it is from this that "in the midst" denotes both what is primary or principal and what is inmost. In this manner likewise are represented the ideas of thought, and also affections, and all changes of state; the goods or evils being thus varied according to their situation in respect to the middle. The origin of this is from the form of spiritual and heavenly things, which is such.
AC 2941. And Ephron the Hittite answered Abraham. That this signifies their state of reception, is evident from the signification of "answering," when assent is given, as being reception; as is also plain from what now follows. Ephron is here called "the Hittite," so as to represent the spiritual church as the head and chief.
AC 2942. In the ears of the sons of Heth. That this signifies obedience, is evident from the signification of the "ear," as being obedience (n. 2542).
AC 2943. Of all that went in at the gate of his city, saying. That this signifies as to the doctrinal things through which there is faith, is evident from the signification of "gate," as being entrance, thus that which introduces; in like manner as "door," (n. 2145, 2152, 2356, 2385); and from the signification of "city," as being the truth of faith (n. 402, 2268, 2449, 2451, 2712). Cities in the Ancient Church were not like the cities of later times and of the present day, that is, assemblages and gatherings of people; but they were the dwelling together of separate families. The family of one parent constituted a city, as for instance the city of Nahor, to which Abraham‘s servant came when he was to betroth Rebekah to Isaac, (Gen. 24:10) was Nahor’s family which was there; and Shalem, the city of Shechem, to which Jacob came when he journeyed from Paddan-aram, (Gen. 33:18; 34:2, 4, 6, 8, 11, 13, 18, 20, 24, 26) was the family of Hamor and Shechem, which was there; and so with the other cities of that time.
 And as they had learned from the most ancient people that nations and families represented the heavenly societies, and thus the things of love and charity (n. 655, 1159), so when a "city" is mentioned instead of a family and "people" instead of nation, truth is signified which is of faith. Hence also the "city of God" and the "holy city," in the genuine sense signify faith in the Lord; and as a walled town or city signified faith, the "gate" of the city signified doctrinal things, because these introduce to faith. This in the representative Jewish Church was also signified by the judges and the elders sitting in the gate of the city and judging there; as is plain from the historical parts of the Word; and also in Zechariah:--
These are the words that ye shall do: Speak ye every man the truth with his companion, judge truth and the judgment of peace in your gates (Zechariah 8:16).
Also in Amos:--
Hate the evil and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate (Amos 5:15).
A "gate" also signifies the way of access to the rational mind, and this mind is compared to a city, (n. 2851).GENESIS 23:10 previous - next - text - summary - Genesis - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|